Lumintop FW1AA Flashlight Review

Lumintop FW1AA Flashlight Review

Lumintop made a small thrower flashlight from the FW series – the FW1AA! It uses a 14500 cell and with the Osram NM1 really throws! Read on!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the Lumintop FW1AA flashlight product page.

Versions

It looks like there’s two versions of the Lumintop FW1AA flashlight. These two differ in emitter – seen here is the Osram version, but also available is a Nichia 219c version. Of course, there are many other FW series lights, and I’ve covered many of them! Most related would be the triple-emitter version, the FWAA.

Price

On Lumintop’s store, the FW1AA is selling for $45.95. You can add a single 14500 cell to that price for another $6.95. That’s probably worth doing if for nothing else than saving yourself the hassle of sourcing a good 14500 elsewhere.

For a few dollars less, you can get the Lumintop FW1AA flashlight from NealsGadgets.com! Here’s a referral link for the Lumintop FW1AA flashlight at Neal’s site.


Short Review

The Lumintop FW1AA flashlight is just as fun as you thought it would be after having any of the FW lights, particularly the FWAA lights. I have a few of those and am still impressed by the size of this FW1AA. Add in that it uses Andúril and has such great throw, and this is a fun little light!

Long Review

The Big Table

Lumintop FW1AA Flashlight
Emitter: Osram NM1
Price in USD at publication time: $42.95 at Neals Gadgets
Cell: 1×14500
Runtime Graph
LVP?
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): ?
On-Board Charging? No
Claimed Lumens (lm) 700
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 714 (102% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 44.1
Claimed Throw (m) 330
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 342lux @ 5.016m = 8605cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 185.5 (56.2% of claim)^
Claimed CCT
Measured CCT Range (K) 5800-8500
Item provided for review by: NealsGadgets
All my Lumintop reviews!

^ Measurement disclaimer:  I am an amateur flashlight reviewer.  I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment.  I test output and such in PVC tubes!!  Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).

What’s Included

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight what's included

  • Lumintop FWAAA 14500 Flashlight
  • Pocket clip (two way)
  • Lanyard
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Manual

Package and Manual

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight lens cover

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight

This little Lumintop FW1AA 14500 flashlight feels like a very refined product.  It should, there are so many other versions.  But it just feels “right” – it’s a nicely finished flashlight.

I’m really digging the knurling on this light.  It’s extremely well done, and the anodizing on it is also perfect.

Inside it’s a pretty typical FW light.  There’s an inner sleeve, which provides signal to the tail-e-switch.  The threads are square-cut and unanodized.

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight head off

I think these springs have seen an upgrade from some of the previous FWAA lights – these feel much more robust.

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight showing springs

Size and Comps

Size 20.5 X 77.2mm
Nei Weight 32.5g (battery excluded)

If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo).  If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight in hand

Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+.  Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple.  A very nice 18650 light.

Also above is the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light.  I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.

Below is the Lumintop FW1AA flashlight alongside the smaller FWAA flashlight (a triple). The triple is shorter because it doesn’t need the deep reflector that the single (FW1AA) has. Otherwise, I think they’re the same.

Retention and Carry

The Lumintop FW1AA flashlight uses a two-way pocket clip. No real complaints here; as far as two-way clips go, this one’s great. I do greatly appreciate that it’s a collar-style clip and not a friction fit!

A lanyard is included and the intended way to attach that lanyard is through this hole in the shoulder of the pocket clip. Since the clip is collar-style, this lanyard attachment is extremely secure.

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight lanyard

Power and Runtime

The Lumintop FW1AA flashlight is powered by a single lithium-ion cell.  The size is 14500.  I found that both my button top and flat tops worked fine but I really only had the gold Vapcell you see below in flat/button formats.  So really the same cell.  This light does not support 1.5V cells!

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight with 14500 cell

Put the cell in the normal way – positive toward the head.

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight with 14500 cell installed

Flat or button, Lumintop does specify a max cell length:  50.5 mm.

Here are a few runtimes.  There are a couple of user interfaces. I switched to the advanced user interface immediately, then to stepped modes, and then calibrated the thermal settings of the FW1AA.

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight runtime graphs

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight runtime graphs

It seems to me that what I call turbo (double clicking from an “on” state) (seen above) is the same as the top of the stepped output levels (seen below).

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight runtime graphs

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight runtime graphs

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens
Turbo (Double click from on state) 700 714
Highest stepped 706
7 582
6 357
5 192
4 83
3 31
2 (Lowest stepped output) 5
1 (Lowest ramping output) 0.20

Pulse Width Modulation

I’ve done mostly the same thing here that I do with other Andúril lights – the lowest mode (far left) is the lowest of ramping.  Because that’s much lower than the lowest stepped mode (annoying!).  Then from the second photo to the far right is each of the stepped modes (with the far right being the “double click to turbo” mode).  All modes except the highest have PWM (again, not a surprise for Andúril, and doesn’t look to have been sped up for Andúril2.

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.  Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find.  I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light.  Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us).  10ms5ms2ms1ms0.5ms0.2ms.  In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line.  I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.

User Interface and Operation

There’s a single switch for interacting with the Lumintop FW1AA 14500 flashlight.  It’s an e-switch, with a big metal button.

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight e-switch

I love Andúril2, I think it’s an improvement over the first iteration(s).  There are some things some users might not love about it, but I think overall it’s much more approachable.  I will note though that the nomenclature might be a bit confusing – the light (all lights with Andúril2) ships in Simple UI.  This is not Muggle Mode.  You may think “well duh” and by now you’ve already seen the blistering runtime on turbo of Simple, so you get it.  But just be aware, don’t hand this light to the uninitiated thinking they won’t set their hand on fire while using Simple UI.  Here is where I’d tell you how to switch to muggle mode.  There is no muggle mode.

The action is very low, and if you have problems with the other FW – well the action here is the same. I will say that on this FW light (and not any others that I can recall), the metal switch cap can get sort of snagged at the edge of the opening. But it’s not a “clean snag” such that it’s obviously snagged. The switch will still actuate but will be grossly mushy. (This is not the typical “fixable with a new nub” issue, either.) If the button just feels gross and not buttony, just flick at the edges a bit and try to get it “unstuck.” Once I realized this was happening, it wasn’t a problem again.

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight e-switch actuation

First, let me remind you of the manual provided by Lumintop:

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight manual

Note that this is not exactly stock Andúril2 (at least as far as I can tell it). There are a few wrinkles, notably in the thermal configuration areas. Otherwise, it’s about the same.

Here’s a UI table!  This table is directly from ToyKeeper’s Andúril2 manual, which you can view here:

http://toykeeper.net/torches/fsm/anduril2/anduril-manual.txt

I am putting this in a table here with ToyKeeper’s permission.  Thanks, TK!  This is so much better than me writing it because it’s more reliable, and I completely trust its accuracy (at least, if I can paste it accurately).  I’m breaking it up a little differently than ToyKeeper did, though I certainly understand why it was done her way originally.

First, the table for Either User Interface.  These actions work whether you’re in Simple or Advanced UI.

State Action Result
Off 1C On (ramp mode, memorized level)
Off 1H On (ramp mode, floor level)
Off 2C On (ramp mode, ceiling level)
Off 3C Battcheck mode
Off 4C Lockout mode
Off 13H Factory reset (on some lights)
Off 15+C Version check
Ramp 1C Off
Ramp 1H Ramp (up, with reversing)
Ramp 2H Ramp (down)
Ramp 3H Tint ramping (on some lights)
Ramp 3H Momentary turbo (on lights without tint ramping)
Ramp 4C Lockout mode
Lockout 1C/1H Momentary moon (lowest floor)
Lockout 2C/2H Momentary moon (highest floor, or manual mem level)
Lockout 4C On (ramp mode, memorized level)
Lockout 4H On (ramp mode, floor level)
Lockout 5C On (ramp mode, ceiling level)
Batt check 1C Off

A table for only Simple User Interface:

State Action Result
Off 2H On (momentary ceiling level)
Off 10H Disable Simple UI
Ramp 2C Go to/from ceiling

A table for only Advanced (aka “Full”) User Interface:

State Action Result
Off 2H On (momentary turbo)
Off 3H Strobe mode (whichever was used last)
Off 5C Momentary mode
Off 7C Aux LEDs: Next pattern
Off 7H Aux LEDs: Next color
Off 10C Enable Simple UI
Off 10H Simple UI ramp config menu (1: floor, 2: ceiling, [3: steps])
Ramp 2C Go to/from ceiling (or turbo if at ceil already)
Ramp 3C Change ramp style (smooth / stepped)
Ramp 5C Momentary mode
Ramp 5H Sunset timer on, and add 5 minutes
Ramp 7H Ramp config menu (1: floor, 2: ceiling, [3: steps])
Ramp 10C Turn on manual memory and save current brightness
Ramp 10H Manual memory config menu (1: off, 2: set timeout)
Lockout 7C Aux LEDs: Next pattern
Lockout 7H Aux LEDs: Next color
Lockout 10H Auto-lock config menu (1: set timeout)
Strobe (any) 1C Off
Strobe (any) 2C Next strobe mode
Strobe (any) 3H Tint ramping (on some lights)
Strobe (any) 5C Momentary mode (using current strobe)
Candle 1H/2H Brighter / dimmer
Candle 5H Sunset timer on, add 5 minutes
Party strobe 1H/2H Faster / slower
Tactical strobe 1H/2H Faster / slower
Biking 1H/2H Brighter / dimmer
Lightning 1H Interrupt current flash or start new one
Batt check 2C Next blinky mode (Temp check, Beacon, SOS)
Batt check 7H Voltage config menu
Temp check 1C Off
Temp check 2C Next blinky mode (Beacon, SOS, Batt check)
Temp check 7H Thermal config menu
Beacon 1C Off
Beacon 1H Configure beacon timing
Beacon 2C Next blinky mode (SOS, Batt check, Temp check)
SOS 1C Off
SOS 2C Next blinky mode (Batt check, Temp check, Beacon)
Momentary Any On (until button is released)
Momentary Disconnect power Exit Momentary mode
Config menus Hold Skip current item with no changes
Config menus Release Configure current item
Number entry Click Add 1 to value for current item

LED and Beam

This Lumintop FW1AA flashlight has a single emitter. It’s an Osram NM1 and is coupled with a fairly deep and smooth reflector.

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight emitter

It’s really exactly the setup you’d want in this tiny thrower!

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight emitter on

Lumintop FW1AA flashlight emitter on

LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)

No real surprises with this very throwy emitter: on the lowest mode, the CCT clocks in at around 5800K, and creeps up from there. By turbo (double click from on), the CCT is very blue. CRI stays around 70, which is low.

Beamshots

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)

I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.

I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Conclusion

What I like

  • It’s a small FW series light!
  • Works with Button and Flat top 14500 cells
  • Throw is really massive
  • The pocket clip can go on the head as well as the tail
  • Collar clips are great!
  • Andúril2!!

What I don’t like

  • Steps down before the official specs can be met
  • Two-way pocket clip
  • PWM (but it’s fast as on most Andúril lights, so this isn’t a huge deal)
  • Doesn’t support AA (1.5V) cells.  I can kind of allow this, but it’s worth mentioning.

Notes

  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
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